F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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JH50621
I would like to ask anyone out there how they have locked up their kitchen knives and other implements in order to discourage their D from self harm; yet were able to retrieve things when needed. Our 14 year old made a bee line for all of the kitchen drawers (not her first time) while my h and I attempted to restrain her till she calmed down.  We wanted things to be as normalized as possible so we have not taken that last step.  We realized today that "normalized Kitchen" is is not an attainable goal at this time.  We do not have an attached garage so I cannot just  hide items in the garage.  My h is not handy with putting real locks on the drawers, but if that is the only way...??  Any suggestions would be most welcome.  You all are clever!

Mamma & Poppa bear protecting their ED cub.
one hour at a time
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alwaysvigilantCAN
I only had to do this for a short time-get a metal box and combo lock. Remove items when needed. It's a royal pain. There also is a problem with broken glass from plates and cups though, so be aware of this as well. Our dog's paw was cut and that really upset my AN D.

My D also ran out into the road in the middle of winter, so we learned to barricade her into the corner of the table between my H and I.  
Don't forget razors, nail scissors, tweezers in the bathroom.

Stay strong.
5 years in active recovery; With many, many days of full nutrition and closed loopholes, insight, life experiences and brain maturity we are slowly loosening the safety net
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Red
Lockable medicine cabinet or mini combi safe. Although we were aware we couldn't make *everything* safe, we were prepared to have a damn good try! We still hide razors, scissors, sharp knives & pencil sharpeners in case of an impulsive moment. I will never, ever forget seeing my darling d plunge scissors into her wrist to avoid eating a 99cal yoghurt.
The future is not set; there is no fate but that which we make for ourselves.

"Not my daughter, you bitch." Mrs. Weasley
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Linda2
Hi,
Sorry to her that Red and JH and alwayssviglent of course.

My D did the same thing with pointy kitchen knives

We just made our dinner with blunt knives when we had a bout  of this type of behaviour.

Knives have been safe again for a while now ( have been hidden for a good part of the year),

Stay safe,
x Leah
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Foodsupport_AUS
I have had two large tool boxes (of the metal variety) in the kitchen for the last 16 months. Sealed with a combination lock. Several other tool boxes around the house. A pain in the butt, but very helpful. D has never even tried to open them. I think for her the fact of having the boxes and attempting to keep her safe was helpful. I am less vigilant now than I was (ie. not washing and putting away asap.) as she has not self harmed in some time, but I still keep them around and locked. Medications also locked away in same way. Cleaning cupboard has a separate lock too.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Colleen
We emptied our fireproof lockbox where we keep our important papers and put our sharps and meds in there, then kept it in the kitchen to have access to knives more easily.

We figured our papers and passports could be at risk but the risk was greater for our girl--and our d's safety was more important.

I kept the key on me at all times.

It's a sad thing--I'm sorry, JH.  Keep feeding her--it won't last forever.
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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JH50621
This is a great help.  Thank you all. 
one hour at a time
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perdido
I removed all sharps and hid knives and sharps everywhere. We still don't have a complete kitchen set of knives because they are still hidden even though d is better and doesn't try to cut. I find lives everywhere in drawers where she wouldn't find them. I used to keep things in my van! The meds specifically. The first time d tried to find a knife I got them all locked away. I used a butter knife for cooking for at least 6 months, very hard to cut with a butter finite but I did it.
Slow and steady
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Ladybugs_Journey_CAN
You all have my sympathy. Thank you for sharing your good ideas. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of D's suicide attempt. The hospital psychiatrist told us not to bother locking up meds and sharps, that if D was set on hurting herself, she would. His counsel was not to our liking and we've been careful since, hiding items in a box under our bed.
- three teens and hubby all with special needs; blended family - D18 is Ladybug; fed at home for three months, then inpatient far away for three months. We lost nine family members in that same year including her step-mom,both grandfathers,four uncles - She now insists on living on own - family falling apart.
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Foodsupport_AUS
My D managed to still hurt herself despite me locking things away. BUT at least it was more minor than otherwise. That being said glass and crockery is always a risk too. Part of it is giving the message that you care enough to try to reduce the risk. Not trying may imply that you approve of or accept the self harm.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Colleen
It's really impossible to suicide-proof your home.

However, you can take away the easy choices like sharps and meds--the most popular first choices for girls.  Hopefully if you have guns in the house they are already stored safely.

That--and constant supervision.  I mean constant!  Like when they were toddlers.  If our girl was alone in her room she had to leave the door open...and I sat outside doing sudoku puzzles for several weeks.

It got...different...as she gained weight.
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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JH50621
Thanks again to all who responded.  I bought two metal tool boxes and two keyed pad-locks.  Cleaned counters and drawers of all knives and things "sharp" in my kitchen and stored and locked them away.  My D was curious and stated:  "I think I know why you are doing this!"  I did not respond and went about my business.  She is under constant watch.  She is never left alone, esp during one of her meltdowns.  Do husband and wives still go out on dates? 

Trying new medication in an attempt to get a better handle on the anxiety that is causing this.  Cannot wait for D's full maturity to step in and wake up her "willingness" to climb over the ED wall to recovery.  I may be waiting awhile!
one hour at a time
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Linda2
JH,

No dates. We go for a walk with the  dogs together in the morning while D is still asleep.

Ladybug: fire that Psychiatrist; he is a fool.

Be Vigilant and stay positive. Focus on the positive things D can do/ likes to do. and be hopeful.

All the best for 2013.

x Leah.
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perdido
No dates per se. We do lunch when d is in school. And we hug a lot, and it is very supportive. High fives when we do stuff right and long hugs when it's not perfect. Lots of kind words for each other and hopes for a better future. And building a future where either d is well or d is still with us and we continue us helping her. Either way we won't back down. We love each other and hugs all around.
Slow and steady
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gobsmacked_US
We didn't have the self-harm issues but were wary of leaving d alone (she was semi-suicidal and impulsive) and managed to sneak in time moments during times that we learned were safe -- a trip to the store here and a walk around the block there. It does get easier over time. Much easier. Commit to the time now, and the dates will come later.
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neverloseheart
really good plan JH.

I too had a safe.  I used one knife for all the cooking for about 18 months and brought it in and out of the safe for each use.  Everything sharp was in that safe.  I threw away all the poisonous cleaning chemicals and locked up the meds, car keys and money as well.  (It was a very full safe for awhile and everything would fall out when I opened it and truthfully that made me cry like nothing else).  

My girl did self harm and was very impulsive for quite a while, but once the sharps were locked up, it decreased and the amount of damage she could do was much less as well.  I think she was secretly glad that we made it more difficult for her to hurt herself.  You know she really felt quite shameful about the self harm and there was then a cycle of guilt and shame and bad feelings that led to more self destructive behavior.  Keeping her safe helped her get out of that cycle.  It was so exhausting without much rest.  

If you had a date right now, I wonder if you would enjoy it!!!!  You are saving a life and giving your daughter a future right now and it's really a fabulous endeavor but not so fun most of the time.  I hope you will have a date in the new year and then you can both appreciate your hard work in helping your girl recover!
Neverloseheart
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